In the United States, more than 4 in 5 Indigenous women have experienced violence, and more than 1 in 2 have experienced sexual violence. On some US reservations, Indigenous women are murdered at ten times the national rate. In Canada, Indigenous women are six times more likely to be murdered than non-Indigenous women and girls.
In How We Go Home: Voices from Indigenous North America, a new book from Haymarket and Voice of Witness, narrator Gladys Radek shares her own story of becoming an advocate for the countless missing and murdered First Nations women in Canada. In this roundtable conversation, Gladys will be joined by the book’s editor, Sara Sinclair, and other advocates based in the US and Canada to discuss the grassroots efforts currently led by Indigenous communities to find justice, truth, and healing for Indigenous women and their families.
How We Go Home shares contemporary first-person stories in the long and ongoing fight to protect Native land, rights, and life. Each of the twelve narrators’ experiences are shaped by loss, injustice, resilience, and the struggle to share space with settler nations.
Gladys Radek (Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en First Nations) is a tireless grassroots advocate fighting for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) in Canada. Gladys' niece Tamara went missing in 2005 at age 22 along the notorious Highway of Tears. This inspired Gladys to become a community activist and eventually a Family Advocate for the National Inquiry into MMIWG in Canada. Gladys is a co-founder of Walk4Justice, an organization created to fight for the families and all women who went missing or were found murdered, as well as to get all of the answers they deserve. With Walk4Justice, Gladys has crossed the country 7 times and has spoked to thousands of families whose lives have been impacted by violence perpetrated against Native women and girls.
Sara Sinclair is an oral historian, writer, and educator of Cree-Ojibwe and settler descent. Sara teaches in the Oral History Masters Program at Columbia University. She has contributed to the Columbia Center for Oral History Research’s Covid-19 Oral History, Narrative and Memory Archive, Obama Presidency Oral History, and Robert Rauschenberg Oral History Project. She has conducted oral histories for the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and the International Labor Organization, among others. Sara is co-editor of Robert Rauschenberg: An Oral History, published with Columbia University Press in 2019. Find more information about Sara here and learn more about her Spring 2021 teaching at OHMA.
Paula Julian is the Senior Policy Specialist for the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC). In her role, Paula assists with policy analysis and development, technical assistance and training, and the development of partnerships to strengthen laws, policies and responses addressing violence against American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian women. Her work has involved supporting Alaska Native advocates to establish the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center and with Native Hawaiian advocates to form the Pouhana O Na Wahine (Pillars of Women) – both organizations dedicated to addressing domestic and gender-based violence in the Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian community. Prior to NIWRC, Paula worked with Sacred Circle, the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians’ Avellaka Program, White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, Inc., and the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).
Dr. Vicki Chartrand is a mama and Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at Bishop’s University, Québec, the traditional and unceded territory of the Abenaki people and Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa, Criminology Department. She is an advocate for and with women and children, Indigenous communities and people in prison.